Wednesday, April 06, 2011


EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...4-7-'11

A Clay County Circuit Court jury on Wednesday found 30-year-old Clayton Jackson guilty of murder and arson in the deaths of 4-year-old Michael Sturgill, 3-year-old Robert Sturgill and 18-month-old Jordan Sturgill in 2004 in Leslie County. The jury deliberated for about eight hours over two days but could not reach a decision in the deaths of Chris and Amanda Sturgill. The couple died after being shot with a bow and arrows. The children died of smoke inhalation after their mobile home was set on fire.
Jurors split 10-2 on whether to convict Jackson in the deaths of Chris and Amanda Sturgill.

Karen Cunagin Sypher, 51, checked into the minimum-security federal women's prison in Marianna, Florida at 1:50 P.M. on Wednesday to begin serving a sentence of more than seven years.  Sypher's attorneys have made repeated requests for her to remain free while she appeals convictions on charges of extortion, lying to the FBI and retaliating against a witness in connection to a 2003 sexual encounter with University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino.. On Tuesday the U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati denied Sypher's latest request to stay out of prison, siding with a lower court judge who rejected the request last week. Sypher's attorneys have asked the appeals court to reconsider the ruling.

Police arrested Bill Crider at the EZ Pawn Shop in Prestonsburg Wednesday afternoon.  Crider was indicted on drug trafficking charges.  Police say undercover officers made several buys of illegal prescription pills at the store. Last June, police raided the business and found pills, $17,000 in cash, and guns. Police closed the store, but it can reopened if Crider is released on bond.

After passing a series of non-binding veto resolutions  to shore up the state's Medicaid budget, the Senate adjourned late Wednesday, ending what had become a lengthy and costly special legislative session. Lawmakers had been caught in limbo when the House adjourned and the Senate took a two-week legislative recess, an unusual circumstance that required the state to continue paying the salaries of all 138 members of the General Assembly even though they weren't at the Capitol. The cost of salaries and expenses during the legislative recess were estimated at more than $600,000. House Speaker Greg Stumbo blamed those costs on the Senate for not adjourning sooner. Senate leaders insisted Wednesday that they won't accept pay for the legislative recess.

An Amber Alert was canceled Wednesday afternoon after  6 year old Shelly Bailey was found safe. Larry Bailey took her from an apartment in the Loyall community of Harlan County Tuesday. Shelly Bailey was ordered into protective custody, although Larry Bailey presented a birth certificate in court that showed he was the father. Despite Bailey's repeated claims, "She's my daughter," authorities say the kidnapping charges will hold for now.

The future of Kentucky Kingdom is uncertain after the city of Louisville said it won't help pay for the amusement park to reopen this year, according to businessman Ed Hart, who heads the group trying to reopen the park as a public-private partnership. Hart recently asked the city to approve a $20 million bond issue to help open part of the park in 2012, but the city declined the request. Mayor Greg Fischer's spokesman, Chris Poynter, says the city decided the deal was "too risky for taxpayers."
Hart says the earliest the park could open is 2013 and that is questionable. Six Flags abandoned the park in 2009 after going into bankruptcy.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has awarded six contracts totaling more than $7 million for eight highway projects impacting four counties in the Department of Highways District 10.

Contracts awarded as part of the March 2011 letting are:

On Saturday April 2, 2011 two Whitesburg Police Department Officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle in the City of Whitesburg. During the stop the perpetrator, Kenneth Ray Traywick Jr. age 22 of Concord, Alabama refused to comply with officers commands and attempted to strike the officers with his vehicle. He fled the scene and his vehicle was later found abandoned in a parking lot of a local
business. Traywick fled on foot and a search was conducted in the Whitesburg area but he was never located. Traywick is also a fugitive wanted by two police departments in the state of Alabama. Kentucky State Police in Hazard are investigating the attempted assault on the Whitesburg Police Officers. Arrest warrants have been obtained on the perpetrator. State Police are asking anyone with information as to the location of Kenneth R. Traywick Jr. to contact them at (606) 435-6069 or 1-800-222-5555. He is approximately 6 feet tall, weighs 150 pounds, brown eyes, and dark hair.  Traywick is also considered to be a dangerous individual.

First lady Jane Beshear is singing the praises of her husband, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, in a radio ad. Campaign manager Bill Hyers declined to say how much the Beshear campaign is spending on the ad that is airing on rural radio stations across the state. Jane Beshear talks in the radio spot about her husband being a man of small-town values, the son and grandson of preachers. She says he is "rock solid" and is the right governor to lead Kentucky through tough times. Beshear will face one of three Republican candidates in the November election -- state Senate President David Williams, Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw or Louisville businessman Phil Moffett. Lexington lawyer Gatewood Galbraith is running as an independent.

The City of Pikeville Board of Commissioners will meet in regular session on Monday, April 11, at 6:00p in the public meeting room at City Hall on College Street.

The Kentucky state fire marshal's office has concluded that a man who was killed in last week's explosion at a plant in Ashland triggered the explosion when he opened an access panel to a high-pressure gas line. The fire marshal's office released that finding on Tuesday and said 61-year-old Forrest Finley of Milton, W.Va., had intended to work on a nearby electrical panel instead at AK Steel's coke plant. Finley worked for a contractor, Dixon Electrical Systems and Contracting.

The University of Kentucky will award five honorary degrees at the school's May commencement. The recipients will be engineer and educator Robert Drake Jr., researcher Pearse Lyons, journalist Al Smith and South African activists Ahmed Kathrada and Barbara Hogan. Drake oversaw the development of UK's College of Engineering as its dean and later became special assistant to UK President Otis Singletary He also was a driving force in creating the high-tech company Projectron. Lyons is the founder and president of Alltech, a global animal health company based in Kentucky. Smith's journalism career spanned 60 years. He's best known as the founder, host and producer of "Comment on Kentucky" through 2007. The weekly round table is aired on Kentucky Educational Television.

An annual report from the Kentucky Center for School Safety says student policy violations have decreased by 23 percent in the last five years. That decline was despite an increase of 20 percent in Louisville schools during the same period. The report said 16 percent of Louisville students violated school policy, compared with a statewide average of 10 percent in 2009-2010. Violations include such problems as fighting, disturbing class and defying authority.The annual report measures student discipline in each Kentucky school district, separating the data as violations of school policy and crimes committed by students. Statewide, the rate of students breaking laws has remained relatively unchanged at 1 percent since 2005-2006.

Jockey Robby Albarado has pleaded not guilty to charges that he assaulted his wife in Kentucky. Albarado entered the plea Tuesday in Jefferson District Court. A judge ordered him not to have any contact with his wife, Kimberly. Albarado was charged last week with wanton endangerment, domestic assault and intimidating a witness after an incident at the couple's home in Louisville.

Two environmental groups that pressure banks to stop funding mountaintop removal coal mines say Credit Suisse and Wells Fargo have the strongest lending policies. The Rainforest Action Network and the Sierra Club issued their second report card Tuesday, ranking 10 of the world's largest banks in their dealings with coal companies. Since January 2010, the report says those 10 have provided more than $2.5 billion in loans and bonds to companies that use the highly efficient and highly destructive form of strip mining in Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky. The report says five banks adopted policies on mountaintop removal after last year's report -- Chase, Wells Fargo, PNC, UBS, and Credit Suisse.  It gave Deutsche Bank and GE Capital an F for having no policy.

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